Home U.S. Coin Forum

Legend Sells Unique 1943-D Bronze Lincoln Cent - $1.7 million

GoldbullyGoldbully Posts: 15,310 ✭✭✭✭✭
image

Legend Sells Unique 1943-D Bronze Lincoln Cent
By Coin Update Staff on September 23rd, 2010
Categories: Press Releases, US Coins

The only known 1943 Lincoln Cent mistakenly struck on a bronze planchet at the Denver Mint has been sold for a record price of $1.7 million by Legend Numismatics of Lincroft, New Jersey. The unique coin, not publicly known to exist until 1979, is graded PCGS MS64BN.

The new owner is a Southwestern United States business executive who wants to remain anonymous. He also purchased in the same transaction through Legend a 1944 Philadelphia Mint cent struck on a zinc planchet, graded PCGS MS64, for $250,000, and an experimental 1942 Philadelphia cent mostly composed of tin for $50,000. The unnamed new owner plans to exhibit these coins and others at the Florida United Numismatists convention in January.

“The 1943-D bronze cent is the most valuable cent in the world, and it took four years of aggressive negotiations with the coin’s owner until he agreed to sell it,” said Laura Sperber, President of Legend Numismatics.

“The new owner is a prominent Southwestern business executive who’s been collecting since he was a teenager, searching through pocket change looking for rare coins,” explained Sperber. “As a youngster he thought he’d actually found a 1943 copper cent in circulation but it was not authentic. He still has that in his desk drawer, but now he’s the only person to ever assemble a complete set of genuine 1943 bronze cents, one each from the Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco Mints. He will display that set at FUN along with his 1944 Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco zinc cents.”

The anonymous collector who formerly owned the coin “donated it to a charitable organization so they could sell it with all of the proceeds going to the charity,” according to Andy Skrabalak of Angel Dee’s Coins and Collectibles in Woodbridge, Virginia who acted as agent on behalf of the former owner.

“As a specialist in small cents, this transaction is the ultimate accomplishment for me and I’m privileged to be part of it. I don’t think it will ever be duplicated in my lifetime,” said Skrabalak.

Zinc-coated steel was used for producing cents in 1943 to conserve copper for other uses during World War II, but a small number of coins were mistakenly struck on bronze planchets left over from 1942.

“We estimate that less than 20 Lincoln cents were erroneously struck in bronze at the Philadelphia and San Francisco Mints in 1943, but this is the only known example from the Denver Mint,” said Don Willis, President of Professional Coin Grading Service.

Link
«134

Comments

  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 28,790 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Does the press release really say that the 1944 cent was struck on a "zinc" planchet? Should say zinc-coated steel.
    TD
    Winner of the ANA's 2020 Heath Literary Award, Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Award, and Lifetime Achievement Award. Winner NLG 2020 Best Numismatic Feature Article, U.S.
  • tradedollarnuttradedollarnut Posts: 19,483 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Good to see the proceeds go to charity...but the US Government might have been able to balance the budget off of the profit taxes on that one. image
  • metalmeistermetalmeister Posts: 4,283 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I would say thats a good return on a 1c investment.
    Lets see, if 1c went to 2c, thats a 100% gain, if that doubles a 400% gain,
    This is a multi billion percentage gainer!image
    email: [email protected]

    100% Positive BST transactions
  • SwampboySwampboy Posts: 12,202 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Amazing cent and amazing set.
    Wish I was going to FUN

    Congrats all!

  • STONESTONE Posts: 15,431
    image WOW that's a lot of money for such a coin!!!!!!!!!
  • RWBRWB Posts: 8,153
    If its a leftover 1942 bronze planchet, then it should have a very low tin content.
  • lsicalsica Posts: 1,361 ✭✭✭
    Wow. No way would I have thought that was a million plus coin. A whole pile of cash, sure. But... WOW!!!
    Philately will get you nowhere....
  • notwilightnotwilight Posts: 12,885 ✭✭✭
    I'm not a lincoln cent expert but that looks like a very strong strike. Was the coining force turned up higher for the steel planchets? --Jerry
  • lkeigwinlkeigwin Posts: 16,271 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Sounds like an incredible set. Lucky guy.
    Lance.
  • seanqseanq Posts: 7,964 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>He also purchased in the same transaction through Legend a 1944 Philadelphia Mint cent struck on a zinc planchet, graded PCGS MS64, for $250,000 >>



    Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that this coin was relatively common (relatively meaning a couple of dozen examples exist). The Mint continued to use the zinc-coated steel planchets for French coinage in 1944, meaning this coin is not so much a transitional off-metal but struck on a foreign planchet, and as such would be worth several orders of magnitude less than the price realized. Maybe the price is because coin is also a condition rarity?

    And while I'm nitpicking....



    << <i>The 1943-D bronze cent is the most valuable cent in the world >>



    ... I think Legend left the word "small" out of that sentence.


    Sean Reynolds
    Incomplete planchets wanted, especially Lincoln Cents & type coins.

    "Keep in mind that most of what passes as numismatic information is no more than tested opinion at best, and marketing blather at worst. However, I try to choose my words carefully, since I know that you guys are always watching." - Joe O'Connor
  • seanqseanq Posts: 7,964 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>I'm not a lincoln cent expert but that looks like a very strong strike. Was the coining force turned up higher for the steel planchets? --Jerry >>



    Yes, the steel being a harder material than copper the force needed to strike up the design was much greater. This also helps explain why there are so many cuds on 1943 cents.


    Sean Reynolds
    Incomplete planchets wanted, especially Lincoln Cents & type coins.

    "Keep in mind that most of what passes as numismatic information is no more than tested opinion at best, and marketing blather at worst. However, I try to choose my words carefully, since I know that you guys are always watching." - Joe O'Connor
  • lsicalsica Posts: 1,361 ✭✭✭


    << <i>I'm not a lincoln cent expert but that looks like a very strong strike. Was the coining force turned up higher for the steel planchets? --Jerry >>



    Yup. In fact its one of the things you look for in authenticating one image
    Philately will get you nowhere....
  • Hot damn...I will be able to see them at FUN image
  • OverdateOverdate Posts: 6,513 ✭✭✭✭
    Is there any information available on how and when this coin was discovered?

    My Adolph A. Weinman signature :)

  • MrEurekaMrEureka Posts: 22,551 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think I'm going to have to raise my bid on original bank wrapped rolls of 1943-D cents.
    Andy Lustig

    Doggedly collecting coins of the Central American Republic.

    Visit the Society of US Pattern Collectors at USPatterns.com.
  • Price = image

    Donation = imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage
  • BroadstruckBroadstruck Posts: 29,609 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>Price = image

    Donation = imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage >>



    imageimage
    To Err Is Human.... To Collect Err's Is Just Too Much Darn Tootin Fun!
  • GoldbullyGoldbully Posts: 15,310 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>Is there any information available on how and when this coin was discovered? >>



    I second that!!
  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 25,741 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>he’s the only person to ever assemble a complete set of genuine 1943 bronze cents, one each from the Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco Mints. He will display that set at FUN along with his 1944 Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco zinc cents.” >>

    Nice PDS sets! image
  • CoinosaurusCoinosaurus Posts: 9,363 ✭✭✭✭✭
    That's awesome they will exhibit the set. I will have to think twice about going to FUN this year.
  • renomedphysrenomedphys Posts: 3,247 ✭✭✭
    Ooooh, and I just got my tickets day before yesterday. I'll actually get to see them!
  • SanctionIISanctionII Posts: 9,763 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It took some guts to pay $1.7 million to purchase this coin.

    Of course if someone has $1.7 million in discretionary money lying around to spend on a coin I assume that his/her asset base is such that $1.7 million is a drop in the bucket.

    I wonder if the coin would have graded higher if the doaen or so white spots on the reverse were not present?

    Does anyone have an idea of what the white spots are? To me the spots look like a substance that has caused damage to the coin.

    Overall I like the look of the obverse of the coin. The reverse is not close in eye appeal to that of the obverse.
  • BroadstruckBroadstruck Posts: 29,609 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>It took some guts to pay $1.7 million to purchase this coin.

    Of course if someone has $1.7 million in discretionary money lying around to spend on a coin I assume that his/her asset base is such that $1.7 million is a drop in the bucket.

    I wonder if the coin would have graded higher if the doaen or so white spots on the reverse were not present?

    Does anyone have an idea of what the white spots are? To me the spots look like a substance that has caused damage to the coin.

    Overall I like the look of the obverse of the coin. The reverse is not close in eye appeal to that of the obverse. >>



    I feel the white spots are not on the coin but from the light source when the images where taken through the slab.

    But then I'm not sure looking at it again image
    To Err Is Human.... To Collect Err's Is Just Too Much Darn Tootin Fun!
  • I spoke to Laura, she said those are not spots. They are pieces of zinc that were left on the dies. The coin was intentionally struck by a Mint employee. She said Andy and her both feel the coin should grade 65.

    Pretty wild if stuff. I never thought I'd be excited about seeing a penny, can't wait for FUN.
  • BroadstruckBroadstruck Posts: 29,609 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>The coin was intentionally struck by a Mint employee. >>



    The bin could have also just had a few copper planchets stuck in the seams that wiggled loose.
    To Err Is Human.... To Collect Err's Is Just Too Much Darn Tootin Fun!
  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 39,783 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I can think of better ways to spend $1,700,000.image
  • BroadstruckBroadstruck Posts: 29,609 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>I can think of better ways to spend $1,700,000.image >>



    image

    Especially since it was auctioned for $212,750 by Goldberg in February 2003.
    To Err Is Human.... To Collect Err's Is Just Too Much Darn Tootin Fun!
  • notwilightnotwilight Posts: 12,885 ✭✭✭


    << <i>I spoke to Laura, she said those are not spots. They are pieces of zinc that were left on the dies. >>



    Beat me to this one. --Jerry
  • tradedollarnuttradedollarnut Posts: 19,483 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>I can think of better ways to spend $1,700,000.image >>



    So can I, but then again most people can think of better ways to spend the $ that you or I pay for OUR coins, so who is to judge. image
  • LakesammmanLakesammman Posts: 16,332 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I remember that auction - very cool coin - didn't Laura buy it for a client?


    Congrats to all the parties involved!
    "My friends who see my collection sometimes ask what something costs. I tell them and they are in awe at my stupidity." (Baccaruda, 12/03).
    I find it hard to believe that he (Trump) rushed to some hotel to meet girls of loose morals, although ours are undoubtedly the best in the world. (Putin 1/17)
    Gone but not forgotten. IGWT, Speedy, Bear, BigE, HokieFore, John Burns, Russ
  • RichieURichRichieURich Posts: 7,865 ✭✭✭✭


    << <i>I remember that auction - very cool coin - didn't Laura buy it for a client?


    Congrats to all the parties involved! >>



    Yes, definitely have to give Laura her "props" on this one!

    An authorized PCGS dealer, and a contributor to the Red Book.



  • << <i>I can think of better ways to spend $1,700,000.image >>

    I'll bet it was a rich person. I mean, I'd hate to think it was a poor person who could really use the money.
  • ChrisRxChrisRx Posts: 5,610 ✭✭✭✭
    Cool stuff indeed. Congrats.
    image
  • Bayard1908Bayard1908 Posts: 3,741 ✭✭✭


    << <i>

    << <i>I can think of better ways to spend $1,700,000.image >>



    So can I, but then again most people can think of better ways to spend the $ that you or I pay for OUR coins, so who is to judge. image >>



    I could easily put together a small collection of proof type, having more historical significance, for 1/100 of the cost.
  • fivecentsfivecents Posts: 11,207 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Fabulous Lincoln cent and all to a good cause. Kudos to Legend / Laura Sperber.imageimage
  • knightemknightem Posts: 124 ✭✭✭
    CONGRATULATIONS to Andy Skrabalak also!
    He and Laura were the "middlemen" in this transaction between the buyer and the seller, so without them both, this would not have happened!

  • delistampsdelistamps Posts: 960 ✭✭✭
    And to think...he could have used the money to buy 15,454 1964D Peace Dollars!

    imageimageimage
  • robkoolrobkool Posts: 5,750 ✭✭✭✭
    And what makes this cent much more rarer... It was struck in Denver. image
  • roadrunnerroadrunner Posts: 28,216 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Especially since it was auctioned for $212,750 by Goldberg in February 2003.

    That's on a very short list of coins that have gone up in value 8X since 2003. Most better coins are lucky to be currently worth 2X their 2003 values.

    CONGRATULATIONS to Andy Skrabalak also!
    He and Laura were the "middlemen" in this transaction between the buyer and the seller, so without them both, this would not have happened!


    I'm sure that each of them made on this transaction something equivalent to an average working man's yearly wages. Good work if you can get it.

    roadrunner
    Barbarous Relic No More, LSCC -GoldSeek--shadow stats--SafeHaven--321gold
  • That's a stupidly high price.
  • STONESTONE Posts: 15,431
    Mindset of the person who bought this coin:

    Impatient
    Wanted it REALLY badly
    Has/had too much money
    Wanted to complete a unique set
    Wanted to set a record for the highest price paid for a Copper coin (and then some!)
    A shark in a pool of carp and minnows
    Wants to impress a Girlfriend (or other person)!

    I'm sure there's more, but the coin won't bring $1.7 million the next time it's sold. Maybe $400-500k, but not much more.
    So, what I can digress is that the owner is not in it for a future profit, but rather to enjoy the coin for what it is!
  • BaleyBaley Posts: 22,259 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The 1943-D bronze cent is the most valuable cent in the world



    I find this fascinating

    Liberty: Parent of Science & Industry

  • MrEurekaMrEureka Posts: 22,551 ✭✭✭✭✭
    "I'm sure that each of them made on this transaction something equivalent to an average working man's yearly wages. Good work if you can get it."


    What does the "average working man" have to do with any of this? We're talking about Coin Gods at play, not mere mortals.
    Andy Lustig

    Doggedly collecting coins of the Central American Republic.

    Visit the Society of US Pattern Collectors at USPatterns.com.
  • BroadstruckBroadstruck Posts: 29,609 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>Wants to impress a Girlfriend >>



    image
    To Err Is Human.... To Collect Err's Is Just Too Much Darn Tootin Fun!
  • Bayard1908Bayard1908 Posts: 3,741 ✭✭✭


    << <i>Mindset of the person who bought this coin:

    Impatient
    Wanted it REALLY badly
    Has/had too much money
    Wanted to complete a unique set
    Wanted to set a record for the highest price paid for a Copper coin (and then some!)
    A shark in a pool of carp and minnows
    Wants to impress a Girlfriend (or other person)! >>



    You neglected to mention, "Mistakenly thinks this is a more important coin than it really is"
  • tradedollarnuttradedollarnut Posts: 19,483 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>

    << <i>Mindset of the person who bought this coin:

    Impatient
    Wanted it REALLY badly
    Has/had too much money
    Wanted to complete a unique set
    Wanted to set a record for the highest price paid for a Copper coin (and then some!)
    A shark in a pool of carp and minnows
    Wants to impress a Girlfriend (or other person)! >>



    You neglected to mention, "Mistakenly thinks this is a more important coin than it really is" >>



    When you grow up dreaming about finding a 43 copper cent - is there really such a thing as thinking this coin is more important than it is? Just like Cardinal's dream was to own the Carter 1794 dollar - is that coin really the most important coin? Bottom line is that what makes ANY coin important is within each of us. It's not to be determined by you or I - but rather by the buyer and seller. Of course, with that said I'd have to agree that it wouldn't break $1M on a resale. But $500k is way too low a number these days.
  • illini420illini420 Posts: 11,401 ✭✭✭✭✭
    image

    Heard about this from Andy today at the Long Beach show... very impressive and couldn't have had better people involved in the transaction. Can't wait to see the PCGS videos of the exhibit of these coins in a few months!
  • ChrisRxChrisRx Posts: 5,610 ✭✭✭✭
    Must've been NICE.
    image
Sign In or Register to comment.